Dr Karen Norman

Dr Karen Norman

School: Nursing

Job Title: Visiting Professor



Dr Karen Norman (prev. Parsley) joined the Faculty as a Visiting Professor in 2012.

Karen's career experience encompasses 36 years of working in healthcare, in both the public and private sectors, in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and Gibraltar. She is also Visiting Professor and Faculty member on the Doctorate of Management Programme at the Complexity Research Group at the Business School of the University of Hertfordshire, which has an international reputation for its work on the implications of complexity theories for organisations. After an early career in children's' nursing, and as a ward sister in acute medicine and coronary care; Karen moved into Senior Management posts and pursued her interest in quality improvement of patient care. This included 20 years at Board level as an Executive Director, both at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust as Director of Nursing and Co-Head of Clinical Governance, and latterly at the Gibraltar Health Authority as Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Patient Services, and Director of Strategic Development. Karen also worked for 3 years as an Independent Associate for Crosby Associates, a U.S based consultancy specialising in Total Quality Management. Her Doctoral thesis; 'National Healthcare Strategy and the Management of Risk in a National Health Service Trust,'focused on strategic change and how this emerges, paying particular attention to clinical risk management. As co-author of three healthcare textbooks, Karen has contributed to the nursing profession through other publications and presentations at conferences worldwide. Winner of four scholarships, she has supplemented her learning through study tours in Australia, the USA and Europe.

Academic and professional qualifications

  • Doctorate in Management (DMan), National Healthcare Strategy and the Management of Risk in a National Health Service Trust, University of Hertfordshire
  • MA, MA in Quality Assurance in Health & Social Care, Nuffield Institute, Leeds
  • BSc(Hons), BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies, Leeds Polytechnic
  • Diploma, Registered Sick Children's Nurse, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham
  • RGN, Registered General Nurse, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge

Professional experience

  • 2012 - present
    Visiting Professor, Faculty of Health, Kingston University and St George's University of London
  • 2010 - present
    Visiting Professor, Business School, University of Hertfordshire
  • 2004 - 2014
    Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Patient Services, Gibraltar Health Authority
  • 1994 - 2004
    Director of Nursing and Patient Services & Head of Nursing Faculty, Brighton Health Care NHS Trust/Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • 1992 - 1994
    Assistant/Acting Director of Nursing, Brighton Health Care NHS Trust
  • 1990 - 1993
    Independent Associate (Healthcare), Crosby Associates UK & Australasia Ltd
  • 1991 - 1992
    Quality Assurance Project Consultant, Townsville General Hospital, North Queensland, Australia
  • 1988 - 1990
    Senior Nurse, Service Development Project Coordinator, Total Quality Management, Doncaster Royal Infirmary/Montagu Hospital Trust, Mexborough, South Yorkshire
  • 1985 - 1988
    Senior Sister, Medical Ward, Newark General Hospital, Newark, Nottinghamshire
  • 1984 - 1985
    Staff Nurse, Paediatric Unit, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham
  • 1979 - 1984
    Student/Staff Nurse, General and paediatric training and consolidation in a variety of staff nurse posts, Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge and Queen's Medical Centre Nottingham.

Professional registration and membership

  • Registered General Nurse / Registered Sick Children's nurse, NMC
  • Member, Sigma Theta Tau, US society for developing academic excellence in nursing

Research interests

Leadership; Management; Change; Complexity; Nursing; Change; Patient Falls, Narrative research

Grants and funding

  • 2015 - 2016
    Understanding the nature of leadership behaviours that influenced a significant reduction in patient falls in an NHS trust by use of improvisational theatre as a research method.Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education Small Research Projects Scheme 2014